TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Operation and Equipment

CHAPTER 41. RULES OF THE ROAD

Subchapter III. Driving on Right Side of Roadway; Overtaking and Passing, etc.


(a) Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;

(2) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;

(3) Upon a roadway divided into 3 marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or

(4) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.

(b) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(c) Upon any roadway having 4 or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for 2-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by signs or markings designating certain lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes, or except as permitted under this section. This subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making a left turn into or from an alley, private road, driveway or highway.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4114; 53 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 15.;

Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than 1 line of traffic in each direction each driver shall give to the other at least one half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4115; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1.;

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:

(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicles.

(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(3) A person who violates this section by driving below the posted speed limit in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the ability of 1 or more vehicles to pass, except when such person is making a legal left turn or otherwise lawfully exiting the road to the left, shall be penalized as provided in § 4205 of this title.

(4) The driver of a motor vehicle, when approaching a bicyclist traveling in the same direction, shall ensure the safety and protection of the bicyclist by:

a. Proceeding with caution and yielding the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the bicyclist, if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a roadway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or,

b. Proceeding with caution and reducing the speed of the vehicle to a safe speed and leaving a reasonable and prudent distance by providing a minimum of 3 feet of clearance while passing such bicyclist, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4116; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 395, § 1.;

(a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event, except as permitted in subsection (c) of this section, shall such movement be made by driving off the roadway, main traveled portion or regular moving traffic lane of the highway.

(b) Overtaking and passing on the right, except as permitted herein, shall be unlawful:

(1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;

(2) Upon any roadway which is officially marked for more than 1 traffic lane in 1 direction;

(3) Upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to 1 direction of movement and the roadway is of sufficient width for 2 or more lanes of moving vehicles.

(c) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn, the vehicle approaching from the rear may pass on the right using the shoulder if necessary.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4117; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 16.;

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4118; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 17.;

(a) No vehicle shall be driven on the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:

(1) When approaching or upon a curve or the crest of a grade in the highway where the driver's view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction;

(2) When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing, unless otherwise indicated by official traffic-control devices;

(3) When the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel.

(b) The foregoing limitations shall not apply upon a one-way roadway, nor under the conditions described in § 4114(a)(2) of this title, nor to the driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road, driveway or highway.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4119; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 18.;

(a) The Department of Transportation is authorized to determine those portions of any highway where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway indicate the beginning and end of such zones and when such signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions thereof.

(b) Where signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone, no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway within such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length. This subsection does not apply under the conditions described in § 4114(a)(2) of this title, nor to a driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road, driveway or highway.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4120; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 13A; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, §§ 19, 20.;

(a) Upon a roadway where traffic-control devices establish one-way traffic, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated. Such designation may be at all times or at such times as shall be indicated by traffic-control devices.

(b) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of such island.

(c) A driver about to enter a rotary traffic island shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicles passing around it.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4121; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 13A; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 21.;

Whenever any roadway has been divided into 2 or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules in addition to all others consistent herewith shall apply:

(1) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

(2) Upon a roadway which is divided into 3 lanes for 2-way traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of oncoming traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for a left turn or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively by traffic-control devices to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding.

(3) Traffic-control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such traffic-control device.

(4) Traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4122; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 22.;

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

(b) The driver of any truck or vehicle drawing another vehicle when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence district, and which is following another vehicle, shall, whenever conditions permit, leave sufficient space, but not less than 300 feet, so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy such space without danger, except that this shall not prevent a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from overtaking and passing any vehicle or combination of vehicles. Whoever violates this subsection shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $28.75 nor more than $75. For each subsequent like offense within 2 years, the person shall be fined not less than $57.50 nor more than $95.

(c) Vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade, whether or not towing other vehicles, shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between each such vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger. This provision shall not apply to funeral processions.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4123; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 23; 62 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 24; 78 Del. Laws, c. 208, §§ 1-3.;

Whenever any highway has been divided into 2 or more roads by an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand road unless directed or permitted to use another road by official traffic-control devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing space, barrier or section, except through an opening in such physical barrier or dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection as established, unless specifically authorized by public authority.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4124; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 56 Del. Laws, c. 313.;

On a 2-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, behind which 5 or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed. As used in this section, a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.

60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 24.;